May 19, 2018 at the Sunridge Inn, Baker City..Forest Access For All will hold our 5th annual fund raiser banquet. This is an opportunity to support an organization of strictly volunteers. FAFA works to retain our historical open access on public lands. 2012 in La Grande, FAFA sponsored the meeting igniting the outcry against the onerous Travel Management Plan. Two weeks following the meeting the Record of Decision was withdrawn. We are many voices; miners, grazers, recreationist, timber interests, and most of all the families that rely on access to the forests for sustenance, whether that be spiritual or goods. When you visit the family huckleberry patch, dispersed campsite, think of supporting FAFA, we are working for you. Banquet seating is limited, call Tork Ballard 541-523-4209 and secure a place.
These items were requested by Forest Access For All, and denied by the Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya and Regional Forester Jim Pena. We will discuss what this means below the listed items.
Response Letter from Regional Forester – 12_27_17_No_Response_FOIA_Response
Information requested on –
1) Blue Mountains Forest Plan
a) We would like a list of the people and groups that have standing to object to the
Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision
b) We would like a list of all changes currently made to the Blue Mountain Forest
c) We would like a copy of all new alternatives developed after the comment period
d) What is the expected date the final EIS will be released?
e) If any specialist reports were produced for the Blue Mountain Forest Plan
Revision, we would like a copy of these.
2) Travel Management Plan (Sub-part A)
a) We would like copies of any specialist reports used in developing Sub-part A.
b) We would like a copy of all public meeting notes taken for input on roads needed
in Baker, Union, Wallowa, and Grant Counties for the Sub-part A report.
3) Blue Mountain Resiliency Project
a) We would like the individual treatment areas identified on the Wallowa Whitman,
Ochoco and Umatilla National Forest.
b) How many meetings have been held and county commissions/courts on
development of the targeted treatment areas?
c) We would like a copy of notes taken at the meetings, if any have occurred.
What this means to you as a user of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
- The agency has no clue as to who has standing for submitting comments on the Forest Plan Revision, or at least doesn’t admit to who has standing in an attempt to limit objections to the revision. (Fortunately for you, we do know who has standing, and have developed a list of people to work with on writing and submitting objections when the Final EIS is released, please be watching for workshops this spring).
- The forest service is unwilling to give an open and transparent process to the development of changes to the forest plan revision, what changes have been made since comments were submitted, or what possible alternatives have been developed from our over 500 individual commentors.
- No specialist reports were generated for the development of the Sub-part A Travel Analysis Report, which means limited to no analysis was completed on determining which roads were “likely needed” and which roads were “likely not needed.”
- There has been no individual discussions with county governments on proposed treatments on the Blue Mountains Resiliency Project, and the forest service is currently developing those plans in a vacuum, contrary to what the propaganda machine at the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest say.
All in all, it means they are still not listening, and they are still hell bent on locking us all out of the mountains of Eastern Oregon under the disguise of “protecting the people.” This has nothing to do with protecting our communities, it has to do with Mr. Pena and his friends seeing our forest managed as “preserves” and not as working lands.
Forest Park Study (Portland Oregon)
We are curious how the Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forest balance a study like this in regards to Forest Park in Portland and the abundance of wildlife it supports, with what they keep shoving down our throats that humans are such a menace to wildlife.
Article for Oregonlive Nov. 2013 – http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/11/the_forest_park_wildlife_repor.html
The article speaks to the abundant wildlife in the park and praises their management of the area and the study gives a robust listing of wildlife in the park. FAFA has completed a very rough estimate of main road courses that surround the park, including Highway 30 and 26 as well as main streets/roads through the area. Our assessment does not account for roads in housing development areas.
Our assessment of the main road courses finds 33 miles of roads in the area, with the area being 5,100 ac’s in size that would make it roughly 8 sq. miles in area.
33 miles of road with 8 sq miles of area would give a total of 4.125 miles of road per sq. mile.
This number does not account for housing developments that border or are found within the boundaries of the park, we’re going to estimate our number is roughly 1/2 of the true miles of roads in the area, so we’re estimating a number more to the tune of 7 to 8 miles of road per sq. mile in the area.
How is it that there is such robust wildlife in the area, with such large amounts of humans and motorized use going on, including elk that they are so proud of?
Please tell us how eliminating mans use of the Wallowa Whitman and Malheur National Forests that see’s not even a 1/1000 of the use serves any greater good for the local populace of the local area, or how it will drastically improve conditions on the landscape. We would like to see this survey utilized when revisiting the EIS when determining the true need for closing additional roads in Northeastern Oregon.
The key item found in the newsletter is that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will be released sometime in 2017 ( we estimate January to April). This will be your opportunity to file formal objections to the forest plan and gain standing for possible litigation of the plan.
We continue to encourage you to be ready to submit your objections when the FEIS is released.
We will be holding workshops once the FEIS is released. These workshops will help you write objections to protect your multiple uses of our lands in Northeastern Oregon. So please be watching for notification of those meetings and get your friends in the loop.
What does 330,000 ac’s of burn look like? Kind of hard to imagine but luckily in Eastern Oregon we have a good reference point. If you were to set everything on fire from Baker to Summerville, Across to Cover, thru High Valley across the Seven Diamonds Ranch, all the way down to Thief Valley Reservoir to the Western edge of the Keating Valley back to Baker, you would have burned the same amount of area that the US Forest Service and BLM have allowed to burn over the last year. Map of Fire Footprint.
In the next two months the US Forest Service will release the Final Environmental impact statement (FEIS) for what they and their partners in the Environmental community think should be done with our lands for the next 10 to 15 years thru the “forest plan revision.” Look at the map above, does it look to you like they make good logical decisions?
Please be prepared to file your Objections when the FEIS is released. We will be here to help you thru the process.
We wanted to give everyone an update on the Forest Plan Revision for the Wallowa-Whitman, Malheur, and Umatilla National Forest.
The update is simple, the Forest Service continues to hold an internal dialogue with themselves, and hold the people of Eastern Oregon office as much as possible, if you can stomach it, here’s a link to the audio recording.
To give everyone a taste of what a dog a pony show this has all become here is copy of the transcript of the meeting – July 13 BMFPR Teleconference Update. To say we are sickened would be an understatement.
There is nothing more pathetic than four grown adults sitting behind a teleconference acting like they are “engaging with the public.” And openly admitting they are holding a one way dialogue, and then acting like they are doing something, it’s literally a one sided dialogue of group-thinkers trying to convince themselves how they are not harming our communities.
Here’s what FAFA has taken from this meeting. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is coming and it’s coming soon. We have roughly 600 people that filed a comment in favor of active land management and open motorized use. Each of you will be hearing from us in the next few months on how to engage in the objection process and we hope that you file your objection when the time comes. You will only have 60 days when that period is announced.
Saturday June 4th, 2016. Sunridge Inn, Baker City Oregon, 3pm.
You’re attention is needed and questionnaire answers needed to keep further restrictions from happening on the Custer Gallatin National Forest, forms need to be submitted by June 1st.
Currently the Custer Gallatin National Forest is beginning it’s Forest Plan Revision process. The Forests Service is currently in the “scoping” phase of taking information in on the revision. We and the people of Southern Montana need your help.
We would ask that you fill out the attached form and send it in, you will need to print it and send it in. FAFA & CBU support open access to all public lands and believe forest plans should reflect our historic multiple uses of those lands.
If the thought creeps into your mind “I don’t live there, why do I care” remember, nothing is stagnent, what grows in the Forest Service in one place, pop’s up 600 miles away in another, if you question that, look at the project by project closures Eastern Oregon is seeing now, utilizing local single source contractors to restrict access, where did that start at? Montana, why? Because we all didn’t know to speak out about it.
Now you do, please help, we all either stand together and fight as one voice, or we fall as individuals.